Aberdeenshire pipeline technology specialist Stats goes big in Middle East

Stats Group, the Aberdeenshire pipeline technology specialist, has ramped up its Middle East operations thanks to a post-pandemic uptick in project activities and a string of contract wins.

The Kintore-headquartered company has posted one of its most experienced pipeline intervention experts to the region and appointed business and technical support staff in Oman and Saudi Arabia.

The Middle East has been one of the strongest performing areas for the group in recent years.

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Dale Millward has been appointed vice president, technical assurance in Doha in response to the increased demand for the firm’s products and services as Qatar makes significant investment in its liquified natural gas (LNG) production facilities.

Overseas expansion remains a key strategic objective for Stats with its latest financial accounts noting that 87 per cent of its £49.7 million revenue in 2021 was derived from contracts executed outside of the UK.

Group chief executive Leigh Howarth said: “The Middle East was one of the strongest performing regions with revenues increasing from £7.9m in 2020 to £11.6m [last year].”

In the Saudi Arabian market, the company - which was recently the subject of takeover interest - bolstered its position with the award of a major subsea intervention project and the business now plans to increase its local presence in the country to support further growth.

In addition to securing a swathe of new contracts in UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, the group has extended its “master service agreement” with Petroleum Development Oman for the provision of pipeline isolation and hydrostatic testing services for a further five years. It is also conducting what is believed to be the world’s largest diameter subsea pipeline intervention campaign on behalf of a Middle Eastern client.

The Middle East has been one of the strongest performing areas for the Scottish group.The Middle East has been one of the strongest performing areas for the Scottish group.
The Middle East has been one of the strongest performing areas for the Scottish group.

Stats currently employs 311 staff globally with more than 80 located in the Middle East at bases in Abu Dhabi, Oman and Qatar, and it is looking to recruit additional technicians and engineers to support its activities across the Gulf region.

Mark Gault, general manager Middle East, said: “We are benefiting from our well-established localisation policy which has involved significant investment in establishing regional facilities in the Middle East and the employment of locally based staff, leading to strong relationships with key players.

“The wider approval of our technologies by the region’s key operators and acknowledgement that our tools, equipment and services have been proven over an extended period and on a range of diverse projects, is another driver which is bringing in new business.”

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Howarth added: “As one of our most experienced technical experts, Dale Millward’s relocation from Aberdeen to Qatar underscores the importance we place on providing in-country support to our clients.”

Last month, a potential £73m acquisition of Stats Group was called off. In December, the company revealed that it had reached agreement on the transaction with SRJ Technologies Group, a publicly listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASE).

SRJ planned to undertake an offer of shares to fund the deal and provide working capital for the combined group, but has now advised the ASE that the transaction will not proceed.



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